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Texas House speaker projected to win Republican primary runoff over challenging opponent, reports CNN

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Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan, a Republican, has won the primary runoff for his legislative seat, defeating David Covey, with nearly all votes counted. Phelan, who led the failed effort to impeach scandal-plagued state Attorney General Ken Paxton, faced opposition from influential hard-right figures in the Texas GOP. Paxton and Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick cast Phelan as a speaker selected by Democrats, leading to a contentious primary race.

Phelan was targeted by Paxton in his revenge tour against state House Republicans who voted to impeach him last year. Phelan was among eight state House Republicans forced into runoffs, reflecting the internal divisions within the Texas GOP. State Rep. Justin Holland is projected to lose his primary runoff, highlighting the challenges faced by Republicans in maintaining party unity.

Meanwhile, in the Republican primary runoff for Texas’ 23rd Congressional District, incumbent Tony Gonzales narrowly leads challenger Brandon Herrera. The race has been marked by intense competition and high spending on television advertising. Gonzales, elected in 2020, faced criticism from the Texas Republican Party for his voting record on gun safety and same-sex marriage.

A key issue in the Gonzales-Herrera race was gun policy, with Gonzales’ vote for a gun safety bill facing backlash from hard-right members of the party. The runoff highlighted the GOP’s internal divisions and the struggle to find common ground on key issues. The primary winner will face Democrat Santos Limon, with the 23rd District not considered a top target for Democrats in the upcoming election.

The primary runoff results in Texas reflect broader tensions within the Republican Party over the direction of conservative governance. Gonzales emphasized the need for Republicans to focus on governing in a conservative manner, rather than engaging in divisive rhetoric. The outcome of the primary runoff will have implications for the GOP’s future approach to policy and party unity.

Overall, the primary runoffs in Texas have underscored the challenges faced by Republicans in maintaining cohesion within the party. Divisions over key issues such as gun policy and party leadership have created conflict within the Texas GOP. The results of the primary runoff elections will shape the party’s approach to governance and relationships with Democrats moving forward.

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